Hengeyokai race

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Hengeyokai race

Post by LibraryLass »

I always loved these guys in the 1e and 3e oriental adventures rules... heck, sometimes I think I like them even more than the usual demihumans.

Description: Hengeyokai are shapechangers who can take the form of a human or of one of several types of small animals. Although they resemble lycanthropes in this regard they are not cursed, but are actually a type of nature spirit that has taken physical form, or according to some rumors an animal that has learned to disguise itself as a human. In their human form they have about the same range of heights and weights as humans do, but despite that may not seem entirely human, and sometimes even retain noticeable parts of their animal form, though they can suppress these with effort. Hengeyokai are sometimes regarded with suspicion by other races, due to having a reputation for being tricksters. Hengeyokai can live as long as elves do.

Restrictions: Hengeyokai can become clerics, fighters, magic-users, or thieves. Different types of hengeyokai have different ability restrictions. While in their animal form they understand any languages they normally know, but cannot speak in them. Conversely while in their human form they can understand the language of their animal form, but not speak it. While in animal form a hengeyokai cannot make use of most gear, including weapons and armor, due to the combination of small size and (except for monkey hengeyokai) lacking hands.

Special Abilities: Hengeyokai can change between animal and human form as often as they want. This change is real, not an illusion, and cannot be dispelled. While in animal form they have darkvision up to 90 feet, and may speak with animals similar to their animal form (for instance a monkey hengeyokai could also speak to apes or baboons). Most animal forms have unique movement rates, and anything a hengeyokai is wearing or carrying can be discarded or merge with the hengeyokai's current form.

The following are the most common hengeyokai, though others might exist using these as guidelines. Except where otherwise indicated a hengeyokai can attack for 1 point of damage in animal form.

Animal/AC/Move/Fly/Swim/Ability minimum/Ability Maximum

*Bite attack does 1d6 damage
**Bite attack does 1d3 damage
***No attack

Saving Throws: Hengeyokai save at +2 vs. Magic Wands and Spells

Would anyone want me to try to develop this into a full supplement?
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by SmootRK »

I like animal races. These guys were great in OA... however, IMO I think each ought to be more of a Race to itself, rather than trying to make some universal race that covers it all, just having Hengeyokai as a rather global term for it.

I am sure others will like these. One that really needs representation is Kitsune (fox hengeyokai). Monkey Men is another standard of Asian myth.
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by Joe the Rat »

If you are wanting to do a supplement, having the different types fleshed out a little wouldn't be a bad thing. I could also easily see this as a single "race" with different clans or families of spirits being the various animals. This also has the plus of allowing you to place class restrictions (as would be appropriate) on the different animals, alongside the stat limits. There's enough lore to give them flavor.

Not trusting my reading skills tonight, they have human and animal forms only, yes? No hybrid form? I'm just trying to get it clear in my head.

On gear - this will be a tough one... I think we'll want a definitive ruling for this. But not an all-or-none. Fan service aside, having them drop everything is creating a hassle (unless they can pop back into place - which would be kinda neat). Then again, being able to shift back and forth with huge loads of gear, swim unimpeded, and drop off on the other side of a river might be pushing it. Something in between would be good, but it needs a logic to it - even if its spirit logic.
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by Dimirag »

I agree with separating the race on individual races instead of having a "mega-race", also adding a half-hybrid or some animal features to the human form is almost a must.
The equipment and transformation thing could be linked to the carry capacity: they can shift and keep their carried objects as long as they aren't above a light load.
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by Nightwulf »

I actualy am brewing an idea for a novel using were-creatures as the main subject
so obviously I like this idea 8-)
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by MedievalMan »

I say keep it as a single race. Why make an entire supp. for a hundred repeats of the same critter? Of course I am in the minority here.
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Re: Hengeyokai race

Post by LibraryLass »

I think I agree with you though. My instinct is to keep it one based on past attempts.

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